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20121231
20121231
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europe by a long shot, and we're seeing slowing in a lot of other major economies, including china, india, brazil. is there some sense that, just like the u.s. set off all of this nonsense back in 2008, a u.s. retrenchment, as you call it, a slowdown in growth caused by the fiscal cliff, could boomerang around the world and actually push the united states further back? >> there's no question. a self-defeating, downward spiral would begin if the worst effects of the fiscal cliff come into effect, and they're not reversed. and you don't even have to wait for the full magnitude which would, as you rightly know, ali, it's not a cliff, it's a slope. it's an ever-increasing slope over several months. you don't even have to wait long. you've only got to see what would happen when the social security withholdings start increasing, the withholding tax starts to move up. then you see that boomeranging effect we talked about. >> you and i have made fun of a lot of the europeans who have not been able to get their act together. when you look at the united states, who's messing it up more? >> it is --
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